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Archive for 'Manhattanville'

Update on Ground Zero Construction Site

ground zero wtc construction

Ray Devlin

The Port Authority will attach eight-foot illustrated panels to the fences along side the World Trade Center construction site  to provide passer-by with a glimpse of what the future site will hold, says the New York Times

The New York Post report that though the September 11 memorial will be open in time for the tenth anniversary of the attacks, it will only remain open to the public for a few days, before closing for construction again.

In other news, the financial crisis on Wall Street is having a devastating effect on local retail stores in downtown Brooklyn. Continue Reading>>

Jacobs Tour Highlights Environmental Justice Efforts in Harlem

harlem toxic eco justice tourLast Saturday – September 27, a group of New Yorkers joined Peggy Shepard, winner of the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, and Cecil Corbin-Mark, deputy director of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT), on a bus tour exploring issues of environmental justice in Harlem. The tour examined how noxious hazards, such as garbage and bus depots, co-exist with some of the city’s cultural treasures, such as the  museums and art institutions of “El Barrio,” Marcus Garvey Park, and the new Harlem Waterfront Park.

In addition to learning about the practice of situating environmentally harmful facilities in low-income communities of color and receiving a first-hand glimpse of how traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, and toxic odors contribute to high asthma rates among local residents, participants gained greater insight into ongoing struggles and siginficant victories. These include the bold act of civil disobedience that brought citywide attention to health risks posed by the the North River Sewage Treatment Plant. Tour takers also marveled at the remarkable architecture of the Mount Morris and Hamilton Heights historic districts. Continue Reading>>

MAS to Host Panel on Preserving Neighborhood Businesses

cobble hill smith street small businessThe proliferation of chain stores and bank branches is an increasing threat to the character of diverse neighborhoods throughout New York City.  By highlighting successful innovations that have been adopted in other cities and exploring the distinct pressures faced by business owners, this program aims to provide local merchants, community members, and municipal representatives with tools and strategies to safeguard small-scale retail, drive economic development, and establish a constituency pushing for policy reform.

Solutions for Preserving New York’s Neighborhood Businesses
Monday, October 6, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
At the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street at Columbus Avenue, MAP
FREE, but reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP online or call 212 935 2075. Advance ticket purchase is available until 3:00 p.m. the day of for programs that are not sold-out. Attendees are advised to arrive fifteen minutes prior to the event start time, as late seating is not guaranteed. Those without reservations will be admitted, space permitting, on a first-come, first-served basis. Continue Reading>>

2008 Jane Jacobs Medal Recipient to Lead Environmental Justice Tour

On Saturday, September 27, Peggy Shepard (at left), winner of this year’s Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, will lead a bus tour highlighting issues of environmental justice in Harlem. This tour will examine how noxious hazards, such as garbage and bus depots — whose location is determined by the city government — co-exist with some of the city’s cultural treasures, such as the museums and art institutions of “El Barrio,” Marcus Garvey Park, and the new Harlem Waterfront Park.

Toxic Hazards and Cultural Treasures, Saturday, September 27, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Space is limited.  $25, $20 MAS members/students. Purchase tickets online or call 212-935-2075. Leader: Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT).  Meeting location will be given upon registration.

For details of upcoming MAS programs, visit

Eminent Domain in the Spotlight

columbia university expansion renderingNew laws proposing to reform the State’s use of eminent domain may gain momentum should the Democrats achieve a majority in the Senate this fall, says the New York Sun. Eminent domain is a centerpiece of three very large development projects in New York City – Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, Willets Point in Queens, and Manhattanville in Manhattan.  MAS has testified on each of these developments, calling for an inclusive planning process in which the priorities of local residents and business owners are sought and considered.

Controversies among these projects are numerous. The New York Times interviewed the remaining business owners in Manhattanville, the site of Columbia University’s proposed expansion, on the detrimental effects the threat of eminent domain has had on their livelihood. The New York Daily News reports that the NYC Economic Development Corporation is increasing its outreach to City Council members on the proposed Willets Point rezoning, as a majority of the Council has already publicly opposed the project.

In other news, Chelsea Now reports from the first community hearing on the recently released scoping for the Hudson Yards development. Continue Reading>>